Founded in 1858 by the Methodist Episcopal Church (now the United Methodist Church), Kentucky Wesleyan College is a private, small liberal arts college in Owensboro, KY, the state’s fourth-largest city. KWC’s original mission was simply preparing young men for the ministry in the Methodist Church, but as interest grew, so did the college, adding more traditional liberal arts majors and professional programs like business. Today, Kentucky Wesleyan is ranked as the #13 regional institution in the South, and is widely recognized as one of the best Christian colleges in Kentucky.
Kentucky Wesleyan is founded on the traditional liberal arts model, leading undergraduates through a common general education curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, adaptable knowledge, and holistic development. As a Christian college, KWC has built a curriculum that combines the classical humanities and sciences with explicitly biblical values and faith, guiding students to spiritual growth and maturity along with intellectual and academic growth. With a 12:1 student:faculty ratio, Kentucky Wesleyan provides students with the opportunity to build relationships with their professors and take part in research, along with the mentorship necessary for growth in faith.
With a focus on undergraduate education, Kentucky Wesleyan offers more than 30 majors, numerous minors, and 13 pre-professional programs. From Accounting to Zoology, KWC offers a full slate of traditional humanities, social sciences, and sciences majors, as well as highly regarded business and criminal justice programs. Kentucky Wesleyan’s pre-professional programs – including pre-med, pre-law, pre-engineering, and more – are highly successful, with a strong history of sending graduates on to prestigious graduate schools and professional programs. In recent years, KWC has developed 6 fully online degree programs, including the BBA, Criminal Justice, and Graphic Design.
Kentucky Wesleyan has a student body of just under 700, of which 60% are women. Since KWC is a Christian college, faith and religious activities are an important part of student life, with honor, support, integrity, and Christian love at the center of the college’s values and mission. With such a small student body, Kentucky Wesleyan is exceptionally close-knit and familial, and community activities like dances, Midnight Movies, and service activities are foregrounded in student life to help develop a sense of camaraderie.
More than 45 student organizations include special interest clubs, honor societies, and six fraternities and sororities. Students are strongly encouraged to join at least one organization, and with nearly 50 groups for just 700 students, there is a wealth of opportunity: art, band, dance, singing, theater, and intramural sports all help keep Wesleyan students busy. The Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers compete in the NCAA Division II, with more than a dozen men’s and women’s teams. The Panthers’ basketball team has been particularly successful in the 2000s, winning two conference championships.